Casino games have been available on the internet for several decades, and they improved in quality as technology advanced through the years. What were once rudimentary versions of slot games have become animated 3-D games, complete with storylines and extensive bonus rounds. What were once the most basic renditions of casino blackjack tables have transformed into dozens of blackjack variations, even with live dealers who interact with players from a studio.
In the early 2000s, the US online casino business truly began to chance and garner throngs of players. While people were fans of internet games for years, the explosion of online poker popularity brought new players to online casinos as well.
Though many online casinos exited the United States market in the past decade, others have sprung into action to take their place. American game players do have choices, and a good number of today’s online casinos available in the US are not only dependable but trendsetting and exciting as well.
Brief History of US Online Casinos
As mentioned, the popularity of online casinos soared with American players when online poker hit its stride in the early 2000s. The poker boom that began in 2003 also delivered players to internet casinos, where they could find games besides like video poker as well as slots and table games.
New online casinos were arriving on the scene in droves in 2004 and 2005, and existing operators were expanding their casino offerings to include more video poker, table poker variations, and entertaining slots options. Poker grew, and online casinos grew right alongside it.
When the US government took a stand in 2006, however, some of that changed. The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was more than a jab at online poker, it was a signal to online casinos everywhere to exit the American market. The most stunning exit at that time was PartyPoker, which had dominated the online gaming industry with poker and casino games for years. Its departure from the US market, however, took many others with it.
Casino operators were wary of American players for years, especially after the 2011 indictments of poker executives, an event that was deemed Black Friday for online poker. Internet casinos laid low for a while so as not to spark any ire from the US government.
Since then, however, the fear has subsided, and casino sites are back. Some smaller sites closed after leaving the US market, but the strong ones survived and took over. And some have absolutely thrived since Black Friday, providing online casino options to American players who were left with too few options for years.
Online Casino Choices
For players new to the online casino scene, the number of choices can be overwhelming. A Google search for internet slots or video poker online offer so many options that it becomes confusing.
Players want choices, but guidance is encouraged to wade through the weeds. They want to know which sites are truly reliable and won’t disappear next week with all of the money in the players’ accounts. They want to know which sites provide the best ways to deposit and withdraw money, which have the best sign-up bonuses, and how many sites have 24-hour customer service available.
With so many categories of importance, it’s important to categorize them so players can decide which are of more value to them. Those who play regularly online will likely have different needs than someone who plays online slots once or twice a month. This is why the site information is presented in sections that can be dissected per player needs.
- Licensing and other certifications
- Bonuses and promotions
- Payment processing choices
- Customer service
- Access for PC and Mac users, mobile customers
- Game choices and variations
In addition to our coverage of the USA casino site market, we also have published a number of tutorials on popular casino games, shown below:
Legal Status and Licensing
Licensing is important, as a valid operating license for an online casino means that the company has bet certain industry standards. For example, the site must ensure that its games are random, provide payout percentages for slots, and submit to regular audits to verify that its finances are properly reported. The licenses and certificates obtained and displayed by an online casino operator are proof of its compliance and diligence as an upstanding member of the internet gambling world.
Sites available to US customers are typically licensed in two ways. One is through a state’s own online gaming regulator, such as is the case in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The state agency that sets the standards also issues licenses and holds sites to strict standards. For those in states without that regulatory option, they can access sites that are referred to as “offshore” casinos. They are based in various locations around the world and licensed with reputable regulators in places like Malta, Gibraltar, Curacao, Antigua and Barbuda, and Panama. Those agencies ensure that sites adhere to globally recognized standards for online gaming.
American players can trust most licensed sites, but there should still be a level of caution used. This is where our recommendations enter the picture, as we research those casinos online and ensure that their licenses are valid, certifications current, and customer relations in good standing.
Casino Player Preferences
There are many qualities that players seek in their perfect online casinos. No matter the type of player, how frequently you play online, or the importance of certain issues, these are topics that we cover to provide information to everyone.
Those topics include:
- Site compatibility with PCs and Macs
- Mobile device accessibility for Apple and Android users
- Customer service availability and response time
- Site licensing and certifications
- Options and fees for deposits and withdrawals
- Timeliness of financial transactions
- Clarity and transparency of bonuses and promotions
- Player loyalty programs
- Play-money and real-money options
- Type of games and stakes available
Check out our site information and recommendations for US online casinos for those details.